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October 2010 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on October 1, 2010
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Premier Welder To The Rescue
I enjoyed your "Welding on the Run" article in the May '10 issue. A Premier welder has saved our day on many trails over the years. I finished reading your article just prior to the Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari. Then, while on the TDS run, I came upon Rick Péwé performing a trail fix using the new Premier welder. I guess this was a real example of welding "on the run." I'm sure the new welder met your expectations and got the broken rig moving again. Thanks from all the wheelers you've helped over the years. You've got a great mag, and I look forward to every issue.
Tom Armstrong
Chino, CA

Thanks, Tom. It's always fun to help out other wheelers, sort of like paying it forward. If something doesn't break on a trail ride, the trail must not be too tough. And if I don't get a chance to fix something, the day (or night) just isn't complete.

LightWeight Wheeler Build?
Extreme rock, mud, and even show builds are all great. But haven't we all noticed how moderate flatfenders and Samurais are all-around trail monsters? A build concentrating on products and ideas to strip down and lighten a rig would be very interesting. The idea is to get some of the benefits tube-frame trail buggies enjoy, but for commuter wheelers starting with a stocker. From mirror relocators (stage 1?) for stripping down to carbon fiber front clips and aluminum heads (stage 3?) for lightening up. Your industry resources could save readers a lot of legwork.
Bill Phillips

P.S. A popular joke in the defense industry starts with the military being interested in a mouse for its small, light, go-anywhere design. When all the improvements have been made and it meets mil-spec, the design is rolled out and ... it's an elephant.

Great idea, Bill! We are currently building a project CJ-7 (page 78) that incorporates that idea. It, too, will end up heavier than planned, but along the way we intend to improve the power-to-weight ratio, usually by adding more power!

Canadian Version
I just received my August issue and cracked it to Readers' Rides. On page 18, "Mud Prince," it notes that it is a '77 Ford F-205. Since it is a Canadian truck, this must be the metric version, eh?
Grant Christiansen

Haha, we get it. We apologize for the typo. But for more on that problem, read on.

What The Heck?
The picture on page 37 (of Rick Péwé) in the June '10 issue gave me a good laugh. I just went through a mandatory office ergonomics evaluation, and I can tell you there are about 10 things wrong with the way you're working. I'll name just a few.

First, that "Jeep Commander" office chair is a joke. That looks like it might work for a boardroom meeting, but for hours of computer work, forget it. There's no way anyone with sense would have designed that for a workstation. That would not be allowed at my work.

Second, you're leaning forward while typing, which is a really bad habit. Are you having trouble seeing the screen? You might want to get your prescription checked on your glasses because you shouldn't have to get that close to the screen. Also, your screen should be a bit higher. You're looking down. You should be able to look roughly straight ahead at it.

You should move your keyboard back, away from yourself, because your arms are in an unnatural position. Then move some of those office supplies like the stapler and the tape dispenser out of the way so you have enough room for the mouse to move. Looks like it's where your elbow is, but really it should be a little farther back too.

Finally-and granted, this a computing tip-try and organize your folders so everything is not stored on the Desktop.

I love Petersen's and just want you guys to continue to produce a good mag while working smart. I work a few blocks down the street from your new address (on Douglas Street in El Segundo). If you need me to come over and give you some tips I would be happy to.

BTW, looking at the new Source Interlink building, I can't possibly imagine that your workshop moved there too. Just the offices, correct?
Ed Laag

Where would I start? First off, thanks for trying to help. We always appreciate that. However, the photo looks like I'm in an unnatural position because I am. The photo is intended to show the "Jeep Commander" office chair, but if I sat normally you couldn't see it. So I leaned forward, got too close to the screen, scrunched my arms up, and made it look like a bad office scene, all for the photo. As a matter of fact I usually lie far back, see the screen fine, relax in the way-comfortable chair, and only move my hand slightly to use the very fast and sensitive mouse.

Oh, and every file and folder you see on the screen is what I go through every day- you should see all the subfolders behind them!

As far as a shop goes, well, we never had one at the old building, and we have a photo studio in the new one. We work on vehicles out of our garages, backyards, and other people's shops-there's no way we would fall into the trap of a company-owned and -dictated shop for us to work in.

Way Cool Ride
Reading the Aug. '10 issue (or maybe just looking at the pictures), I have a question. On page 91, in the Chile article, what is the yellow, short-box, cut-down-XJ-looking rig in the top picture? Looks like fun!
Todd Weingartner

That is a real Nissan Patrol, with solid axles and a Chevy V-8. Except for the engine it's mainly stock, and no, you can't buy it here. If we could we would have one in an instant, but like most manufacturers, Nissan feels there isn't a market for the ride of the solid front axle, as the American buying public is too soft. Yes, that sucks.

Our Final Goof
I've been a reader for many years. My first issue had a story about Bob Chandler getting mad because someone let Fred Schafer park Barefoot with its 72-inch tires next to Bigfoot at the Jamboree Nationals. That's how long I've been reading. For the most part I love the mag. I will say, I'd rather see more trucks, Jeeps, or whatever is street-legal than a bunch of trailer queen buggies.

The reason I'm writing is because of "Tire Chart Woes" (In Box, Aug. '10). You state that CUCVs had eight-lug wheels. If your referring to the M1008 (Blazer), they did not have eight-lugs. They have the same 10-bolt axles as the K5 Blazer that was sold at your local GM dealer. The CUCV M1009 (K30 PK) had eight-lug Dana 60/14-bolt axles. There were a couple of variations of the M1009. Most had NP208 transfer cases. Some had NP205 boxes; these were only in units that required a PTO option. There was also a DRW version that had a Dana 70 or 80 out back.

All CUCVs had 6.2L with Turbo 350s behind them. They had a secondary 24V electrical system (the GM part of the truck was 12V) to run our radios. But for the most part these were Chevy K5 or K30 Custom Deluxe with crappy paint jobs and extra blackout lights.

I have two M1009s in my fleet. They make great snowplow trucks. I retire from the Army this fall, and hope that I don't have to give them up before I go. Other than the mention of the M1008 having eight-lug wheels a couple of times, I think you have a great mag, and I will probably be reading for several more years.
Patrick Dunn

Reader Rant
How Bad Is It?
This letter has nothing to do with wheeling. I've been a subscriber for several years. I really like the attitude and style of the magazine, and don't really care how many Jeeps or non-Jeeps you feature-it's all fun to read.

I would, however, like to request that somebody do some better proofreading before you run the stories. Here's what appeared in just one feature in the June '10 issue:

P. 35: "The handle locks similarly to that of an air chuck." What about a simple "locks like an air chuck"? P. 35: "with fewer hurtles and turbulence" (hurdles). P.38: "an antisheer bracket" (antishear). P.39: "bucketheads steeling stuff." Yikes! P.40; "lightweight vice." You mean like an O'Doul's? p.42: "take a peak under your Jeep." Better have one helluva lift!

The only one missing was fender flairs.

Believe me, it's not like I go looking for mistakes to carp about. These things jump out at me and instantly lower the credibility of anything I'm reading, which is a shame because the content is great. While I'm aware that most of the rest of the world doesn't give a crap about this stuff anymore, this time it was way too much for me to just grit my teeth and let it slide.

As I said, I love the magazine; there's no way I'd quit buying it just because it's not perfect, so I hope you'll take this as constructive criticism. After all, if I was walking around with a toilet paper banner trailing off my shoe, I'd sure want somebody to tell me about it! David Holmes Santa Monica, CA

It amazes us as well, considering each staffer reads the copy twice, I read it four times, and our managing editor reads it two or three times. We do care, and we agree with you, but as a cost-cutting measure, all of the company's 54 copy editors were laid off last year, and now it's up to us to catch our own mistakes. While that's good in a way, it's far easier to catch someone else's mistakes, especially when we rely way too much on spell-check. That system simply spells the word correctly, but as you have shown, it may be the wrong word. So thanks for catching that toilet paper on the shoe, and if you want, come on down to our offices and we'll stick you in a cube for no pay and long hours so you can give us a hand making sure we are on the mark. Thanks again!

Submission Information
4-Wheel & Off-Road welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must include an address or a telephone number so the sender can be verified. Once verified, your name may be withheld at your request. Letters published in this magazine reflect the opinions of the writers, and we reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, brevity, or other purposes. Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos. Digital photos must measure no less than 1600 x 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.
Write to: Editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368
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